Friday, December 07, 2007

Ganja, Azerbaijan

Finally made it to the amusingly named second city of Azerbaijan. The name is an approximate of the Azeri alphabet's name for the place. The town has nothing to do with a nickname originating in potheads trying to palm off their habit as relogious practice.

I stayed 3 days in Sheki in a restored caravanserail. This sounds cute but it's really due to a very nasty bout of food poisoning that, predictably, filled my mind with happy thoughts about this country.

Anyhoo I eat enough immodium to get me to Ganje and the next day set about trying to leave the place. This might prove tricky and for the moment it looks like this will require showing up at the train station at 3.30 in the morning and trying to buy a ticket on the train itself. Fortunately I am assisted by very helpful Azeris with whom I am related (the tentacles of my family are spread far and wide).

Being made to spend 2 days puking my guts up has skewered my view of Azerbaijan. Now that I am on the receiving end of some great hosipitality the good thing would be to reconsider my slightly negative stance on this country. I will do nothing of the sort.

There are a few things about present Azerbaijan that I could write about but the fun stuff is better put in a context of regional politics which I will post about as I leave the region. The rest is simple to lay out. The place is oil rich and the presidency was passed from father to son. Catch my drift?

So, from a place famous for, well...., nothing really, I depart to a place known for, well..., Stalin.

Next stop Tbilisi

Take care,



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